With their advanced recycling unit in Geleen having reached the final stages of construction, chemical company Sabic and chemical recycler Plastic Energy have announced a new collaboration with German waste management company Siemer, a one-hundred-year-old family business, and environmental and waste disposal specialist Landbell for the sorting and pre-treatment of the mixed and used post-consumer plastic to be processed there.
The new recycling plant will receive pre-sorted and treated plastic waste from Siemer’s newly built sorting plant in Vechta, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Siemer plant is supplied by Landbell AG - a 'first mover', tasked with finding the optimal composition of material streams for pyrolysis, as Uwe Echteler, a member of the board of Landbell and COO of the DACH region, described it. The company is focused on offering customer-specific recycling options and optimising the cycle for chemical re-cycling up to a closed product loop.
Siemer's processing plant in Vechta is a former sorting plant for light packaging that has been overhauled and redesigned for the pioneering purpose of recovering recyclable materials from previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recyclable post-consumer plastic waste. Following the overhaul, it now re-sorts the fraction of plastic packaging waste classified as low-grade using newly combined technologies and prepares it for advanced recycling.
The sorting plant, is the first of its kind that can separate dirt, foreign matter and impurities from the remaining plastic fractions. It has an input capacity of 25,000 tonnes per year.
Once reprocessed, the plastic waste will be delivered to Sabic Plastic Energy advanced recycling unit, where it will be converted into a pyrolysis oil, called Tacoil, using Plastic Energy’s advanced recycling technology. The Tacoil will then be treated in a newly built Sabic hydrotreater plant, to be subsequently used as alternative feedstock by the chemical company to produce their certified circular polymers. These polymers are part of the company’s Trucircle portfolio.
Advanced recycling is an essential and complementary solution to traditional recycling processes and can take typically hard to recycle types of plastic waste. For it to work, factors such as access to high quality volumes of used plastics are crucial.
“This collaboration with Siemer and Landbell is important to the success of our joint recycling plant with SABIC in Geleen, providing optimal feedstock to be used in our recycling process,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy.”
Sabic, Plastic Energy, Siemer and Landbell are among the first to bring together feedstock streams, technology and know-how to scale-up advanced recycling operations. In doing so, the collaboration is creating the conditions toward a more closed loop model for post-consumer plastic.
“We have demonstrated how to reinvent our business model by bringing together experienced operational partners that historically would not have worked together,” said Rutger Bosch, global circular economy leader at Sabic. “With this new approach, we hope to show that closed loop projects have the potential to capture the value and bring back used plastic into new material streams.”
"We are on the way to one hundred percent recycling. Strategic collaborations like this one are necessary to drive this forward-looking development of the circular economy,” added Manfred Bruns, Managing Director of A. Siemer - Entsorgungs GmbH.
Uwe Echteler, a member of the board of Landbell and COO of the DACH region, focuses on offering customer-specific recycling options and optimising the cycle for chemical re-cycling up to a closed product loop: "As a 'first mover', we are faced with the exciting task of finding the optimal composition of material streams for pyrolysis. We want to make a real contribution to resource conservation and with this project we can gain the necessary insights and offer initial product documentation.”
Both the planning and development of the processing plant in Vechta and the strategic linking of the players involved to create an economically attractive and resource-saving cycle were carried out by the operational consultancy Source One.